This blog started as a way of keeping friends up-to-date with Zambian life but it now also helps generate money for the poor here in Chikuni. If you like what you read please click on an ad to help the people of Chikuni.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


The path between work and homeThat was the sound of my confidence smacking the floor as I sat in the chair in my sparsely furnished room and the cold hard truth kicked me firmly and squarely in the ass. This is my home for the next 12 months and wow but is it different from everything I know! Panic set in as I wondered just what the heck I was thinking, being here, doing this and leaving everything. It was a real WTF moment. Then (owing much to my mothers upbringing) I decided I needed to clean the room and make the most of what I had, aka one cot (no more than 10 cm off the floor), one small cabinet for all my clothes, one table and the aforementioned chair. After that was complete, all of a sudden things didn’t seem so bad.

Since then I have been to 7am mass, I helped prepare a party for 35 people, made 3 new friends, forgotten the names of almost everyone I’ve been introduced to and NOT thrown up even once. Fun house things include the ant and cockroach problem in the kitchen coupled with the spider and frog problem IN THE TOILET! But at least there is hot water, electricity and a fridge. Thanks be to God for little things!!

We are still awaiting the rains (wow does that feel like a foreign concept to me) and so it remains the hottest time of the year until they arrive. The joke of course is that yesterday there was a very light sprinkling during a thunder and lightning storm. Who do you think got credit? The Irishman!

I want to give a special shout out to two people, who through their foresight have helped me enormously,
  • Dad, thank you so much for over-estimating on the cord for the mosquito net, not only did I need the extra bit, I needed mum’s thread on top of it…
  • Zoe, your penknife has been invaluable throughout these first few days and was used within 20 minutes of getting my luggage!
So the good news is that I am settling in well, despite the oppressive heat (see the bbc weather Some friendly localswidget at the bottom of the page) and am eating well so far (thanks to a $200 food shopping trip in Lusaka on the way here). I have already started taking photo’s though I suspect the limited bandwidth here will prevent me from uploading them. I’m looking forward to the completion of my first week and finding my place within the community during the weeks to come.

Yours, from the middle of nowhere,
- D


  1. Cool pics and charming kids :)

  2. So glad you landed safely! Everything will or course feel strange but bizarre but YOU WILL TRIUMPH David Shorten!! You are too clever, sweet and cute not to! Zoe is happy and slightly proud of the fact that the penknife came in so handy. She is totally organised and complately aces isn't she?? Anyhoo, post your mailing address and we will send you something to stick on your wall, give the the kids whatever you chose....

    Miss you,
    lots of love,
    Zoe and Fi

  3. Glad you are OK, and survived the initial shock. Take care - we are thinking of you.